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Famed broadcaster Kevin Black dies

05:00 Tue Feb 19 2013

Long-time radio broadcaster Kevin Black has died, just days before his 70th birthday.

The former Radio Hauraki DJ, known as "Blackie", died at his Remuera home from a suspected heart attack on Monday night, the New Zealand Herald reports.

His death has shocked many in the local broadcasting industry, which is still mourning the loss of Sir Paul Holmes less than a month ago.

RELATED: Farewell for Sir Paul Holmes

Black left St Patrick's College in Wellington aged 15 and went on to spend many years at sea, including in the British Merchant Navy.

It was aboard the ships he became interested in radio, and he scores his first job in promotion at Radio Caroline, the world's first pirate radio station.

Back in New Zealand, Black hosted shows on ZM and ZB before heading to Radio Hauraki - again aboard a boat.

His former colleague Phil Gifford told Radio New Zealand it was Black who made breakfast radio "hugely entertaining".

"He brought something to New Zealand radio that had never been done before and it's something that's in very, very bad odour now, but Kevin Black was proof that if you made candid calls and did them properly ... then they could be incredibly funny and incredibly infectious and could make you incredibly famous and rich."

Black was at one point the highest-paid radio announcer in New Zealand.

After splitting from Radio Hauraki, he went to set up 89FM, and also worked at Solid Gold and the Sound during his career.

Following the news of his death, Radio Hauraki tweeted: "RIP Kevin Black, a true legend of broadcasting. We owe you".

Many other broadcasters also paid tribute online.

"Oh no. We've lost another broadcasting legend ... Blackie was the first million dollar, Rolls Royce driving DJ. He was the eighties!" Newstalk ZB's Kerre Woodham tweeted.

Black is survived by his wife, Kristen, and children Kandace, Kyran and Xavier.


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